Looking for a guide to show you the area and teach you about the history of this special celebration? Here are a few we recommend.
KEVIN QUIGLEY, an American who lives near the small town of Ihuatzio with his Purépecha wife, offers arts-and-crafts tours as well as visits to nearby cemeteries. The couple also run a bed-and-breakfast. (For appointments, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.casasantiagomex.com.)
MIGUEL ANGEL NUÑEZ, an anthropologist who lives in Erongarícuaro, a community near Pátzcuaro, offers Day of the Dead tours to small groups, and he often visits families in local villages. (For appointments, contact him at email@example.com or visit www.traditionsmexico.com.)
LETICIA ALCALÁ leads arts-and-crafts and Day of the Dead tours for EcoMexico, an ecotourism agency in Pátzcuaro. (For appointments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ecomexico.org.)
If You Go …
WHERE TO STAY: Hotels book up months in advance for Day of the Dead, and their rates during this holiday are usually double compared with those of the rest of the year. A great pick, if you plan ahead, is Mesón de San Antonio, an eighteenth-century hacienda-style home with a large courtyard; free sweet rolls and coffee are offered in the mornings (Benigno Serrato No. 33, 011-52-1-434-342-2501, www.mesondesanantonio.com). • For last-minute reservations, try Hotel Real Palmira, a newly constructed massive hotel off the Plaza Chica (Calle Obregón No. 10, 011-52-1-434-342-1037, www.hotelrealpalmira.com).
WHERE TO EAT: For adventurous types, Pátzcuaro’s outdoor food market on the Plaza Chica has some great choices, including corundas doused in salsa and cream, tortas, tacos, and steamed corn smeared with chili and lime. For the best home-style food in the area, try Restaurant Camino Real, located next to a Pemex gas station on the main road leading into town (Carretera Quiroga-Pátzcuaro, Km 20). A good upscale pick in Pátzcuaro’s historic center is Priscilla’s, located inside La Mansión de los Sueños hotel (Ibarra No. 15, 011-52-1-434-342-5708, www.prismas.com.mx).